For those who do not know, Monster Hunter World (MHW) is the latest entry in the critically acclaimed Monster Hunter series by CAPCOM. It is a game where you track down and slay or capture various beasts in different biomes. There is no end to the monsters that you hunt and thus, armors and weapons you can craft from them. With huge maps that feel alive, creatures that interacts with each other as well as the environment in their own unique ways (for example a poisonous monster recharges its poison by eating fruits from trees or a flying monster takes its prey to air before ramming it into the ground), and lots of free content updates, it is an easy game to recommend.
A hunter must always be prepared
With this guide, I’m hoping to help MHW players get ready to brace the cold winds of Iceborne, and be a step ahead by preparing yourself before the expansion comes to PC on January 9, 2020. I strongly recommend that you complete at least some of the items below; while most of them are optional and still achievable after the release, they will certainly make the ride a bit easier and less grindy later on.
1. Finish the base game story
This is is the only must on our list. In order to play Iceborne, players need to complete the story mode. This has also been stated by CAPCOM, so there is no way around it. Just be sure that you killed Xeno’jiva, the final boss of the story, which will make you Hunter Rank 16 and grant you access to the DLC.
2. Upgrade your weapons
Iceborne will bring further upgrades to existing craftable weapons, so improving the weapons you use the most up to their max level is strongly recommended.
3. Farming Decorations is Always a Plus
If you have some decorations (gems that grant you specific skills when slotted into your gear) that you are missing in your build, this is the time to farm them. They will still be as valuable as they were in the base game, and will certainly help you slash through monsters that you are having trouble with. Keep an eye out for two events that are called “The Greatest Jagras” and “The Name’s Lavasioth”. These are special events that appear from time to time, and there is no better way to farm decorations, since they drop at least 10 times more decos from the next best thing (Hunting tempered monsters and praying you get a drop).
4. Gather Materials (Lots of them!)
With Iceborne comes Master Rank. This means monsters that are much more powerful, and–most likely–countless more deaths. It would be an understatement to say that hoarding crafting materials would come handy. At the very basic level, you’ll definitely need an excess of honey in order to craft Mega Potions. Some other items you could aim for are Max/Ancient potions, Shock and Vine traps, Demon Drugs and Armorskin consumables to boost your attack and defense while fighting. Best way to do this is to use your botanical garden to grow materials you specifically need, so be sure to tend to it and check it after a few hunts.
5. Unlock all the Palico Gadgets
Like many other existing features in the game, palico gadgets are also getting upgrades. Now you can level them up even more and unlock a third skill, some of which seem like game changers (No spoilers). So it is best if you max your palico gadget levels before Iceborne hits PC, in order to unlock new skills a lot quicker.
6. Unlock canteen ingredients
A wide range of canteen ingredients provides a higher chance of getting the buffs you need and want without using a valuable voucher. You can also get access to said ingredients if your teammates have them, but it is always better to have them yourself in case you play solo. I highly suggest that you complete your food collection before beginning the DLC.
7. Craft some charms ahead of time
Just like the weapons, charms in the game are getting new upgrade levels, so it would be wise to craft some charms to expand your charm roster. Elemental charms become decent in Iceborne unlike the base game, since now they can be upgraded up to level 5 which can be really benefical for elemental damage builds, so you can start from there. As always handicraft (increases sharpness of the weapon) and constitution (mostly for bows and dual wield) are still safe bets. Wide range is one of the best support options, meanwhile windproof or earplugs are good defensive charm options depending on the monster you are facing.
8. Unlock all the mantles
Like most of the things listed above mantles are getting upgraded versions too, so it wouldn’t be a bad choice to unlock all of them in case you want to use them during Iceborne. They will have plus versions with room for decorations. On the base game it is common knowledge to use temporal mantle as one of your two possible options, since it grants automatic dodge during its active duration (which is really overpowered in my opinion). But with new versions, weaker mantles will have better slots, so you can either use a powerful mantle with less stats or a weak one as a stat stick. It will boil down to how you want to play, but it always feels good to have more options to play with.
What does not carry over:
- Armor doesn matter: Any high rank armor you have at the moment will be obsolete the moment you step into Iceborne, so there is no need to spend your materials on crafting armors before the DLC.
- Kulve Taroth weapons don’t matter: As of now, Kulve Taroth weapons do not seem to have upgrades which means they will be outleveled by other weapons in the game. There is no need to farm Kulve Taroth before Iceborne (Although the fight is awesome).
- Gold wyverian prints and streamstones will be replaced: They won’t be completely useless however. You can still get high-rank materials with gold wyverian prints for example, but they will not be nearly as important as they are now, so no need to hoard them ahead of the time.
Some Extra Activities While Waiting
- Collect layered armors: There are lots of layered armors (items that change the appearance of your gear) that you can get from events and by hunting Arch-Tempered monsters (Basically elder dragons on steroids!). If you want to collect them now is a good time to do that.
- Behemoth Solo: This one proved to be a challenge since I just started trying it. I am done with most of the content in the base game, and when my friends are not online this keeps me busy. If you love challenges I can promise that this one will be worth your time. Behemoth is a monster that was added in a free content update and was designed to be killed by a full team of four. Still it is far from impossible to solo it, if you come prepared, of course. Just keep in mind that this does not provide you any extra rewards and is meant to be a personal challenge to spice things up while waiting for Iceborne.
Wait is almost over
MHW: Iceborne is less than two months away now for PC players. Completing at least some of the items in the list will help you tremendously with the expansion, either by cutting down the amount of time you need to spend farming items or straight up helping you in your fights. Whether you get ready ahead of time or dive in blindly, I hope I will see you in the cold lands of Iceborne!